Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Fishing For Men and Women

Matthew 4:19

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

I have a number of friends who love to fish. I never really got into it – I get motion sick very easily – but wouldn’t mind sitting on a shoreline somewhere on a lazy summer day with a line in the water. My friends post pictures of some of their favorite fishing holes on Facebook. They really enjoy fishing. It must be very exciting and relaxing to them.

A friend of mine from a former church is really into fishing. He often posts pictures of fish he has caught on Facebook. He gets some big ones. He and another friend go deep water fishing at times. My friend’s youngest son has taken an interest in fishing as well and they are often together at their favorite fishing hole – as seen on his Facebook page! He brought a dozen or more rods to church one Sunday for a prop for a sermon series titled Gone Fishing or something like that. I miss this friend dearly! We both play golf and need to do more of it together this coming season. Continue reading

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December 11, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Attitude During Advent/Christmas

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Advent is here and Christmas is only 17 days away. Are you excited yet? What do you do to prepare for the Christmas season? A niece of mine and her married family always bake dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies that her family (and extended family) baked together. It is a family tradition for her husband’s family. They certainly looked good. I will try to resist cookies this Christmas season – LOL.

What do you do to prepare for Christmas? What do you do in this time of waiting and anticipating (Advent)? Were you active on Cyber Monday shopping online? Now they call the whole week Cyber Week – so if we missed the one day – we can catch up throughout the week and maybe the whole month. Have any of us hit the Malls yet? Have we baked some cookies? Have we planned our parties and the ones we will attend? Have we picked out that perfect gift for our loved ones? Continue reading

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent Is The Season Of Waiting

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Advent is the season of waiting. I made the mistake the other day of going near the Mall in Annapolis. Mind you I wasn’t going to the Mall in Annapolis – just near it for something. I sat through three lights changing because only a few cars could get through at one time because the cars before them hadn’t gone very far and blocked them from moving further.

Advent is the season of waiting. During this season we will do lots of waiting. We will wait in lines at the Malls and Shopping Centers – we will wait in traffic going here and there – whether we are headed where everyone else is headed or not – and we will wait for Christmas parties and activities (and more). Waiting is not new – we have been waiting for Christ’s return for over 2,000 years.

Advent is the season of waiting. Have any of us ever wondered why it has taken over 2,000 years for Christ to return? Talk about waiting! Today’s passage gives us some insight into the love of God and why we are still waiting. Here is today’s passage in partial context. It is a great teaching about the Advent – the waiting on Christ’s return! Continue reading

December 7, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Is Coming – Where Is Our Heart?

Luke 12:34

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Christmas is fast approaching. The remembrance of Christ’s birth is fast approaching. We will begin singing Christmas this coming Sunday to help prepare us for the season. I know the stores have been advertising Christmas since July 4th is seems – but now – it is merely 20 days away.

So – what is on your list for Christmas this year? Would you like a new iPad Pro – even if you have a workable iPad or other pad? How about the latest video game? We use to get loads of clothes for Christmas – at times we got them early so we could wear them before Christmas – like a winter coat if it got really cold early in the fall. I remember marking things in the Sears Christmas catalog for my parents when it came out. What new tech item is out we might want? What new item for our Christmas decorations do we want or have we gotten already? Christmas is only a short time away. Continue reading

December 5, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And My Spirit Rejoices

Luke 1:47

…and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Sunday we preached a message about keeping Christ in Christmas. It will be posted here soon – so take a listen. Sunday we talked about the joy that Jesus brought to the people. Luke 2:10–11 – 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Jesus’ arrival was to bring great joy to the people – and not only to His people but to all who would hear and follow Him. Jesus was the Messiah – the Anointed One – the Deliverer – the One who would break the bonds of oppression for His people. Never before or since has the birth of a baby been so anticipated or sought after. Jesus’ birth was to bring great and lasting joy. Continue reading

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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